Summer 2008, #15
       "Convenient Acts of Human Behavior"

Two Poems

     by Avery Slater

La Cocina
    Picasso, Paris 1948

In a perfect cage of light, the birds
have ceased.
Before, there was a room

unto itself. And then the vectors,
luminous. The purpose

of legs beneath the winged: division.
Further. Nearer earth.

Shadows of the aloe plant
and window bar that intersect
do not add one weight
to the other.

Flagstone floor: crossed by the servant
who is whistling. And water
here begins a boil, heat making

River de la Seine

At night the roof evaporates.
A ghost tree grows up through the floor,
ghost sycamore. And traffic beams

pulsate across the feinting walls.
The door is locked, the whole room stands
ajar. A portrait's blond strands fall

more wildly to her neat girl's-nape
while she, with side-glance, takes it in:
the thin cross-bars of city's shape.

At night she's hung without one wire
above the traffic's liquid hiss,
and airplanes kiss that ceiling with their fire.